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Loyola to add menís and womenís swimming and competitive cheerleading and dance

Loyola press release - March 25, 2015

Loyola University New Orleans Director of Athletics and Wellness Brett Simpson '96, MBA '03, announced that the university will be adding men’s and women’s swimming as well as competitive cheer and dance as intercollegiate sports starting in 2016-17.

“The addition of swimming and competitive cheer and dance is part of our strategic plan to enhance intercollegiate athletics. The University Sports Complex gives us a competitive advantage when adding these sports. Our facility offers the space for our competitive cheer and dance teams to practice and compete. Our swimming pool will allow us to start an intercollegiate swimming program. We hope to grow the number of student athletes from the current level of 150 to 300 by 2020,” Simpson said.

Competitive cheer and dance is recognized as an invitational sport in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with 63 institutions currently sponsoring the sport. The NAIA could sponsor competitive cheer and dance as a championship sport as early as 2016-17.

“Competitive cheer and dance has gained tremendous momentum nationally as an intercollegiate sport. The Southern States Athletic Conference has sponsored competitive cheer and dance exhibitions the past two years with hopes one day of hosting a true championship in the future. We look forward to competing for that conference championship,” Simpson added.

Head coaches for the new sports are expected to be hired in the spring and will spend the 2015-16 year recruiting students to fill squads the following year. The addition of three new intercollegiate teams will bring the total number of teams to 17 for the Wolf Pack in 2016-17.